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Nathan Horton scores in shootout and Panthers beat Canucks 4-3

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

SUNRISE, Fla. - Roberto Luongo returned to South Florida, only to watch his former team do something it hadn't done in more than eight years: beat Vancouver.

Nathan Horton scored the only goal in the shootout and the Florida Panthers beat Luongo and the Canucks 4-3 on Friday night, the Panthers' first win over the Canucks since 1999.

In what some consider one of the worst trades in NHL history, Luongo was traded to Vancouver in 2006 along with defenceman Lukas Krajicek. In exchange, Florida got Todd Bertuzzi, goaltender Alex Auld and defenceman Bryan Allen.

Bertuzzi played in seven games for the Panthers and Auld went 7-13-5 in 27 games. Allen had an assist in Friday's game. Luongo led his team to the playoffs last season and was a finalist for the Vezina and Hart trophies.

Luongo, who spent five seasons with the Panthers, made 40 saves. He wasn't happy with the Canucks settling for a point.

"It's an unacceptable loss," he said. "They're all tough. We had chances to win and we couldn't get another goal."

It was the first victory for the Panthers against Vancouver since Oct. 20, 1999. Vancouver is 2-8-1 in its last 10 games overall.

Horton used his experience against Luongo in the shootout. "I think he thought I was going glove side, like I used to in practice, because the blocker side was open," Horton said.

Taylor Pyatt, Alexander Edler and Daniel Sedin missed shots for Vancouver in the shootout. Stephen Weiss missed for Florida, which didn't need a third attempt after the Canucks' three misses.

Horton, Weiss, and Jozef Stumpel scored for Florida. Tomas Vokoun had 29 saves. The Panthers tied the game three times.

Weiss said there was something special about playing against Luongo, his former teammate.

"We're good buddies but we enjoy competing each other," Weiss said. "I can give him a jab at the end of the season."

The Sedin brothers, Daniel and Henrik, each had a goal and an assist for the Canucks. Mason Raymond also scored for Vancouver.

Markus Naslund was awarded a penalty shot with 46.6 left in overtime, but Vokoun blocked the shot from in front with his pads.

"It's do or die, it's overtime so it's sudden death," Vokoun said. "I just try to stay with the player. Shootouts are fun to win but tough to lose. It's always great when you win."

Florida tied the score 3-3 on Weiss's goal at 13:46 of the third, seconds after a Florida power play ended. Weiss' shot from the right circle found the net over Luongo's shoulder.

"It was a big night," Weiss said. "A good crowd and a lot of emotion in the building. It was a fun night. You could just sense we were going to have a big game."

Raymond put the Canucks ahead 3-2 at 1:42 of the third. Florida's Gregory Campbell lost control of the puck just above the circles. Raymond grabbed the puck in the slot and put the shot between Vokoun's pads.

"When you are up 3-2 with 12 or 13 minutes to go you'd like to get the win," Henrik Sedin said.

The Panthers tied the score at 2 with a power-play goal at 14:32 of the second. Olli Jokinen passed from behind the net to Stumpel in front. His wrist shot got past Luongo.

The Canucks took a 2-1 lead on Henrik Sedin's goal. Naslund swept the puck out from behind the net to Sedin. who poked it in on Vokoun's glove side just inside the post.

Florida tied the score at 1 on Horton's goal at 5:04 of the second. Horton faked a pass to David Booth then made a wrist shot that went between Luongo's pads. It was the first goal for the Panthers since the third period against Edmonton on Jan. 24, a span of 97 minutes, 45 seconds.

Vancouver scored the game's first goal with nine seconds remaining in the first period. During a power play, Naslund dug the puck out of the boards. He passed to Henrik Sedin to the left of the goal. He fed the puck across the crease to Daniel Sedin, who wristed it past Vokoun on the stick side to make the score 1-0.

Notes: Jokinen did not start but played in his 347th consecutive game. He missed the last two periods of the game against Buffalo on Wednesday with a stomach illness. ... Ville Peltonen (foot) practised Thursday and hopes to return for Tuesday's game at Toronto. ... Vancouver D Sami Salo (groin), C Brendan Morrison (wrist) and D Lukas Krajicek (shoulder) missed the game.



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